“You know I’m getting old, my darling child,” Obi-Wan smiled sadly at his granddaughter. “I just want to make sure you’re safe when I’m no longer here. But if you’re certain of your decision, I will do my best to make sure it comes to be.”
Rey stared at her grandfather, “I am sure.” There was no doubt or hesitation in her voice, her eyes were clear and honest.
Obi-Wan nodded, “Very well then, I will make the arrangements. Why don’t return to your training? Rest assured that I will handle the situation.”
Rey smiled at her grandfather, “Thank you, papa. I will see for dinner.”
“On my private chamber sweetling, let us just have a moment to be family.”
“Of course papa.”
“And remember, I am doing this for you because I love you and want you to be happy. Now go and re-assume your training child, if there are any news, I will let you know.”
“Of course papa, thank you.”
With that Rey went back to her training and Obi-Wan was left alone with thoughts. How fast had that girl had grown, she had been such an adorable baby, it seemed that in the blink of an eye, she was a woman.
And his only heir.
Rey had thrown herself into her studies, she had held court on her own as soon as she turned sixteen. She was well spoken, kind and courageous. She had actually insisted she learned how to fight and she had mastered the lance as she had been born to wield it, then she turned her eyes to a sword and Obi-Wan had not denied her. How could he? When he understood her desire to be able to fight for herself and their kingdom should it ever come down to it.
Obi-Wan summoned a servant. It was time to have a talk with Captain Dameron. And waited, and hoped that he had not read the room wrong. He hoped so for Rey’s sake.
Rey deserved someone who loved her for herself. Someone who was not waiting for him to die, so he could have power. Even if he knew Rey could tell someone was trying to be nice because of her rank, he still worried. Love could cloud someone’s judgement, and Rey could not afford it. Rey had to be a pillar for her people, their most staunchest of defenders and a good ruler when the time came. Rey needed someone who above all things, understood that the crown would be on her head. Rey would be Queen and the decisions and orders where hers to make. Rey needed someone who could still treat her like a person, who would love Rey and wanted her to be happy. Someone who understood the responsibility in Rey’s shoulder and would do their best to lessen her load, not add to it.
And Obi-Wan hoped Poe Dameron could be that for Rey.
Obi-Wan was not blind, he’d seen their affections grow. He’d seen them go from respect for Rey’s rank, to good friends and devoted allies. But he was no fool, he’d seen the slight blushes that tainted Rey’s cheeks when Poe teased her. He’d not missed that during dances, Rey would dance the most with Poe. He’d not missed the lingering looks Poe gave her, the softening of his voice in her presence. The way their hugs lasted a little longer than what could be deemed appropriate.
All he could do was hope for the best.
Then there was a knock on the door. “Come in,” he commanded.
The door opened to reveal Captain Dameron, who saluted his king, “You wish to see me sire?”
“I do indeed Captain, come, have a seat.” Obi-Wan pointed at the chair in front of his desk. “I have something of utmost importance to speak with you.”
Poe sat down, “Is anything amiss, my king?”
Obi-Wan stared at the man in front of him. Poe was a good man, he knew. He was a dedicated soldier who did not hesitate to fight in the front lines to protect both the Kingdom of Stewjon and those who lived in it. He was a good looking man, he could understand why his granddaughter had fallen for him. But what made Poe a good match for her, was that he always understood that she was the Princess, he’d known that Poe had advised Rey on several occasions, but Poe always respected her decisions, even the ones he disagreed with.
“I am getting old Captain,” Obi-Wan started. “I am getting old and my time on this earth is coming to a close. No, let me speak boy. There is no denying the march of time and, now, I worry. I worry for Rey. She will take on Queenship with grace, that I have no doubt, she is well prepared for it. But what I fear is something is something of a far more personal nature. I worry about who she will wed.”
Obi-Wan did not missed the tension that gripped Poe’s posture, nor the small grimace of his face, before Poe smoothed it back into nothing.
“You see, she has fallen in love,” Obi-Wan continued and spotted again Poe’s small signs of distress. “And I am wondering if that man is worthy of my beloved girl.”
“How can I be of assistance, my King,” Poe’s voice was calm, it betrayed nothing of the inner turmoil he was feeling.
“Tell me, what do you think of my granddaughter?”
Poe was silent for a few moments, then he took a deep breath. “I think she will make a great Queen. She is wise and dislikes injustice, doesn’t like to see other people suffer; she’s devoted to Stewjon unlike any other save yourself my King. She is kind and charitable, she is charming without trying, she’s not cruel nor vain. She cares, from the lowest street urchin to the wealthiest of nobles. She is funny, I have lost count of the times I have seen her break the tension in a room with a well-timed joke. But she is serious in her duty, she doesn’t dismiss anyone’s concerns out of hand, she listens, even when she is displeased with what she has heard. Her anger is rare, but usually justified, and it goes away quickly. She has moments of reckless bravery, but I don’t hold it against her too much. She can vindictive if she has been pushed enough, but she wants to do good and wants others to do so.”
Obi-Wan nodded but said nothing, he felt lighter than what he did before. Good, Poe could see his granddaughter well. “I’d say that’s a good assessment,” Obi-Wan answered, his eyes sparkling with joy. “Now boy, don’t look so dour, I have news for you.”
Poe sat in silence, waiting for whatever the King was going to tell him.
“As I said, Rey has fallen in love and I happen to agree with her choice for husband. And that’s you.”
Obi-Wan nearly laughed at Poe’s expression. Poe’s eyes widened, his eyebrows shot up and Obi-Wan was sure his jaw would hit the floor soon enough. Poor boy must have been worried, now he was just shocked.
“Me?” Poe was ashamed at how squeaky his voice came out. Out of all the moments to lose his bearings, this was the worst.
“Yes, Captain, you.” Obi-Wan was amused now. “And I summoned here to ask you if you would marry her. Oh, I know you love her, I am old Captain, but not yet blind. I can see the love you both have for each other, and it gladdens my heart to know Rey choose well.”
“What does Princess Rey think?” Poe asked once he found his voice.
“Do you think I’d have asked the question to you before I asked her?” Obi-Wan grinned. “I spoke with her before I did with you. And should she would have you for husband.”
Poe looked down, “As much as I love the Princess, I am not worthy of her hand sire, I have nothing to offer her, other than my own love and devotion.”
“We both know, Captain.” Obi-Wan’s voice was full of compassion. “But I promise you this, we both found you worthy. You are who she loves, and I find you to be a good man, which is what I want for Rey above all things. I want someone to love her, Kingship is lonely, and she will need you. She loves you and you love her, that’s more than enough for me to approve. Because you are a good man.”
Poe was rendered speechless by the King’s words. “Sire…”
“It’s a yes or no question Poe,” Obi-Wan said, firm yet not unkind.
Poe looked at the King in the eyes, squaring his shoulders and lifting his chin, “If the Princess will have me, then it would be my honor to marry her. And I swear to you my King, that I will love, care and protect her with all my being until the day I die.”
Obi-Wan beamed at the Captain of his army, “Most excellent! Then I suggest that you go and prepare yourself, the marriage will be announced at dinner tonight!”
Poe stood, “Of course sire, I will go and prepare.”
Once Poe had left, Obi-Wan let out a hearty laugh, those two children were so anxious. And so lost when it came to one another, he was glad that he’d pushed them both in the right direction, otherwise they would probably never had said anything to each other.
Then he summoned a servant, “Tell my granddaughter that dinner plans have changed, we are to attend in the Great Hall, and tell her to wear the newest dress I had made for her. For her engagement is to be announced tonight.”
The servant bowed and left. Obi-Wan remain in his office a while longer, looking at the painting of his dearly departed Queen. Satine had been as wise as she was beautiful, kind yet strong and he was sure that she would have loved Rey. And she would have love Rey and Poe together. “Well,” he said as he stood. “I have to change myself don’t I dear?”
Several hours later, Poe was the first of the three to arrive to the Great Hall, dressed in his finest military regalia, sword attached to his hip. “Captain Dameron,” a servant stopped him. “The King has ordered that tonight you sit at the High Table, if you could follow me, I’ll show you your spot.”
“Lead on,” Poe said and followed the servant to his spot and he was surprised. His seat was on the left side of the King. “Are you sure this is the spot?”
“I am Captain, King’s orders.” With that, the servant departed, leaving him to his thoughts.
Poe watched as the Hall began to fill out, his nervousness increased with every passing moment. He took his wine glass and took a hearty gulp, trying his best to remain calm until the King and Rey were here.
Poe did not wait too long, for a few minutes later, trumpets announced the King’s entrance. Poe stood and watched as the King entered the Hall, holding Rey’s hand. And his eyes went to Rey, she looked ravishing in a gown of bluish silk, her hair finely woven into a hair net and a small band of diamonds across her forehead.
Poe bowed to his King and Rey as they took their seats. With Rey occupying the King’s right side. Silence fell on the Hall as the King raised a hand.
“My People!” The King began. “Tonight we celebrate a joyful occasion.”
Poe’s nerves kicked in again.
“For my dearest granddaughter and Heir has become betrothed! My darling child has chosen the man she wishes to wed and I have given them my approval. And tonight, we celebrate two people who love each other!”
Poe watched as the King gave two steps behind and motioned for both Rey and Poe to stand in front of him. Poe obeyed his King and came face to face with Rey, who beamed at him.
“My people, I announce with joy that my beloved grandchild, Rey will marry our good Captain Poe Dameron in six months time. So raise your glass and share in their joy!”
The people in the Hall clapped and cheered. But fell silent once more after the King raised his hand again. “Now, the happy news have been shared, let us feast!”
They sat down and eat, Poe speaking with the King on occasion, but even now, his nerves would not be abated. And he felt his stomach in knots when the dinner was over and he and Rey were expected to share in the traditional dance.
Poe stood from his seat with a cue from the King and made his way to Rey, he bowed to her and she stood and took his hand. Together they walked to the center of the Hall, everything was silent.
Then Poe heard the first tones of the music and with great care, he began to dance with Rey. Rey never stopped smiling and only then did he felt himself relax.
“Thank you,” he whispered. “You have made me so happy. I swear to you, I will love you until the day I die.”
Rey’s whole face softened, “You made me happy too,” there was such tenderness in her voice that he felt himself chock up. “And I will love you too until I die.” She declared. “Our story is just beginning.”
Poe smiled down at Rey, “I know.”